For camping, conquering and contemplating, these stools have a long history among artists, soldiers and rugged individualists.
by Christopher Schwarz with David Lyell
There are few things that British military officers and plein air painters of the 19th century would agree upon. But this stool is at the top of that (quite) short list.
Three-legged folding stools were a popular way to carry a comfortable place to sit during the 1800s and early 1900s, whether you were trying to (unsuccessfully) subdue the Zulu or capture the way the light reflected off the River Thames at sunset. As a result of the stools’ light weight and portability, they also became popular among campers, hunters and anyone else who needed to squat comfortably outside.
The key to the design’s success is its three legs. Three legs sit on any terrain without wobbling. The stool is folded easily into a small bundle and tucked under your arm or into a rucksack.
Plus, they are remarkably easy to build, no matter the tools you own or the wood you have on hand. You can make one of these stools using old broom handles, cheap hardware and pieces of your leather jacket from college. Or you can go full “officer” and use fancy woods, fancy harness leather and hardware that is machined like a clock.
Finally, the stools are quick to construct. The stools shown in this article each took about two hours to build, start to finish. You can begin building one after breakfast and sit on the finished stool to eat your lunch. So let’s start with the “squeegee stool.”
Plan: Download patterns for the leather seat and pocket.
Web: Learn all about leather terminology.
Web: Visit the author’s personal website.
In our store: “Build a Campaign Chair with Christopher Schwarz”
From the February 2018 issue
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.